Dagong Credit Rating to Belarus
April 26, 2012, the Chinese rating agency Dagong Cregit Rating Co., Ltd. assigned to Belarus sovereign credit ratings \"BB +\" - for liabilities in the national currency and \"BB-\" - for liabilities in the foreign currency. The outlook is \"stable.\"
The decision was taken following the work of Dagong analysts in Belarus in February 2012. An agreement with the rating agency on assigning the sovereign credit rating to Belarus was signed in November 2011.
Assigning the sovereign credit rating, according to Dagong Credit Rating agency, will open up the financial markets of South-Eastern Asia to Belarus. The government is likely to place bonds on the stock exchanges and the OTC market among residents of China, Hong Kong, Singapore, etc.
Moreover, the expansion of trade and investment and credit co-operation with Asian companies is expected, since, according to the Dagong evaluation, the sovereign credit ratings of Belarus is several notches higher than the credit ratings from agencies Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s.
At present, Dagong Credit Rating is one of the major Chinese rating agencies that rates bonds of 10 thousand companies worth about $ 1 trillion and bank loans worth more than $ 110 billion.
For reference. According to the National Statistical Committee, the volume of foreign trade between Belarus and China (including Hong Kong and Taiwan) decreased in January-February 2012 by 10%, compared to the previous year, to 358.322 million dollars. The exports of Belarusian goods fell by 24.8% to $ 56.583 million and the imports of Chinese goods declined by 6.5% to $ 301.739 million.
Direct Chinese investments into the Belarusian economy in 2011 reduced by 1.8 times, to $ 9,862 million.
As of January 1, 2012, China accounts for 8.3% of Belarus’ total external debt (in monetary terms, the external debt to China is about $ 2.824 billion). The major borrowers are the Belarusian government and the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus.
The Belarusian authorities could to step up the opposition representation in local councils, should party members demonstrate potency. The Belarusian leadership is unlikely to have the resources to ensure 100 percent pro-government candidates in the local elections. The authorities have exhausted the grassroot support and have no funds to pay for the loyalty.
The Belarusian Central Election Commission has proposed to hold the elections to the local Councils of Deputies on February 18th, 2018.
The president has repeatedly emphasised the importance of the local councils in the power system and the state machine always tried to ensure the necessary local election results. Candidates have been decreasing in number with each elections and the authorities dealt with that by reducing the deputy corps. That said, during the rule of President Lukashenka, his electoral base has changed substantially. Over the past decade, most Belarusians have moved to cities and lost their local roots. The rural population is ready to support the president, but rural residents are constantly decreasing in number.
The Belarusian leadership is likely to permit broad participation in the election campaign and an increase in alternative representatives in the local councils. However, the opposition would have to boost its activity, so as so far it has been passive in defending its interests. In addition, the authorities, while determining the date for the local elections, have taken into account the fact that the opposition is usually the least active in the winter time.
Overall, both, the opposition and the local authorities have exhausted their grassroot support, however new local leaders may still come on political stage, although the party opposition has not yet shown sufficient aspirations.